Since my kids were born (10 and 7 years ago) I started slowly buying them their own copies of the series so that they’d each have a complete set of their own one day. And I’ve been eagerly waiting for that day when they’d be old enough for me to share these fascinating stories with them.
That magical day came one week ago. Well, to back up a bit, about a month ago I was reading a few of the Narnia books to my oldest, and he told me that when we had finished our Narnia books then he’d let me start reading HP to him. I think I cheered when I heard that…it was a day long-awaited for me, and I knew he was old enough for the first few books…was just waiting for him to be ready to start.
So, I was immensely excited to begin this journey with my sons. I even gave them a bit of a speech (lol) about how special Harry is to me and how much I love him. Then we jumped right in!! It was after the fifth chapter that my eldest declared “this is officially my new favourite series!” That made my heart sing even more!!!
We finished reading #1 this morning, and we plan on starting #2 after school today. As much as I love sharing this series with my kids, it’s the quality time spent reading to them that I love even more. Yes, it helps that it’s something I’m passionate about and it’s great seeing their interest in the story and characters, but it’s so important for me to invest in their childhoods with quality time and enriching their lives with the experience of reading a new story and witnessing them discovering this magical world!
As many times as I’ve read this book, there are some moments that are more emotional than others. Reading this book out loud and all the love and history I have with HP, there were some moments that got me very emotional, with tears in my eyes or not even being able to read because I’m crying. The first moment came at the last sentence of Chapter One:
He couldn’t know that at this very moment, people meeting in secret all over the country were holding up their glasses and saying in hushed voices: ‘To Harry Potter – the boy who lived!’ (p 18)
Wow!!!!! Talk about a great way to finish the first chapter. And what a special ‘toast’ to a boy who doesn’t even know that the fact that he lived is the most amazing moment to the wizarding world. Got choked up on that one for sure!
The next spot was during a Quidditch match when Malfoy has some insults against Neville:
Neville went bright red but turned in his seat to face Malfoy.
‘I’m worth twelve of you, Malfoy,’ he stammered.
Malfoy, Crabbe and Goyle howled with laughter, but Ron, still not daring to take his eyes from the game, said, ‘You tell him, Neville.’ (p 163)
Aw, Neville!!! All that he does and is in the future books…I love this one moment where he gets the courage to stand up to the bullies! And Neville knows his self-worth which is amazing!
I also cried at the end when Hagrid gives Harry the scrapbook of pics of his parents. That moment had never really touched me strongly before; but knowing the power of a photograph, this was a really beautiful gift.
And, last but not least, cried the most with this one…Dumbledore’s final speech at the End of Year feast, when he’s giving out the final points to Harry, Ron, Hermione and Neville. Again, I could barely get through the sentence about Neville. So admirable that Neville’s courage was recognized…this time for standing up to his friends, not his enemies. Dumbledore puts it so beautifully:
‘There are all kinds of courage,’ said Dumbledore, smiling. ‘It takes a great deal of bravery to stand up to our enemies, but just as much to stand up to our friends. I therefore award ten points to Mr Neville Longbottom.’ (p 221)
At this point in reading the book, my oldest was saying “stop crying about it…JUST READ!!!” He knew we were so close to the end of the book, and also so close to the time we had to leave for school…so he just wanted to be able to finish it before then.
So, that sums up my first foray into Harry Potter with my kids. So happy to be started on this journey with them as I introduce them to this wonderful series.